Streets of Birmingham

Another beautiful, sunny day in Birmingham. It is hard to believe the Covid 19 pandemic is happening and that it has brought the planet to a standstill. Trying to stay sane and upbeat is tough whilst so many are struggling and fighting on our behalf. We feel a bit useless, especially when staying at home and exercising locally is the best thing we can do. Isolation and social distancing removes and shields us from the situation. TV is the only window to the outside world. Our local bicycle adventures, project 139 and the videos have kept us occupied and have hopefully brought you some enjoyment.

NHS tribute in the Custard Factory

Mary knows me so well. She made us get our bikes ready the night before. We fill our water bottles and pack some snacks. We make sure we have our tools, puncture repair kit and a bicycle pump and a bit of money.

I put my clothes right next to the bed so I don’t have to think in the morning. My Bicycle Adventure Club tee shirt and a pair of comfy old cut off jeans with some padded shorts underneath. I can get up and dressed, before any negativity or other tasks distract me. Mary wanted to ride up in to Birmingham, or ‘into town’ as the locals refer to it.

Mary loves to ride around Birmingham. She was born in and went to school in Digbeth. The area holds so many memories for Mary, mostly of the accidents she and her brothers had – which Mary will tell you about in the video below.

The streets were so empty and quiet. A cyclists dream. Despite what many think, roads are a shared space and the lack of traffic is giving us cyclists an opportunity to use it. The air is noticably cleaner. Everything looks brighter and the colours more vivid. The city is beautiful to be in. Cycling around the streets of Birmigham was joyful and easy, there was so much space and time.

With no prescribed route we rolled effortlessly around the old streets. No business being conducted and no vehicles meant we were free to explore and stop and look.

Hopefully we can carry some of this forward into our new normal. Simply altering work hours so that there is no longer a ‘rush hour’; staggering or reducing school and work days so there is no ‘rush’ at all. Moving more people out of vehicles on to bicycles, public transport or foot. Less traffic would also surely be more pleasurable for drivers too?

It is all possible. We are seeing it now with the boom in cycling and people getting outside for fitness activities. All because a pandemic has given us the gift of time. Without wishing to diminish the tradgedy of it – life is – better.

Please enjoy our tour of Birmingham City through the eyes of Mary and I hope that more space and more time becomes our new normal.

Thank you for reading

See you out there.

Sarah & Mary

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